Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Ritu Kumar opens 2nd store in Festival City

Ritu Kumar

In keeping with Dubai’s retail tourism strategy; India’s leading design house Ritu Kumar will be opening her second store at the Dubai festival city mall. The outlet will cater to a mix of luxury and high-street fashion clientele with the latest collections of LABEL Ritu Kumar. It is the brand’s second outlet in the emirate having begun operations in the UAE with a flagship store at BurJuman Centre in January, 2014. Spread over 1600 sq ft in Dubai Festival City mall with a spectacular triple height shop-front the new store will showcase the SS’16 and the AW’16 collection from the brands’ pret line – LABEL Ritu Kumar. Ritu Kumar is credited for introducing haute couture in India as well as the revival of the country’s traditional fabrics and crafts over the last 45 years. The celebrated fashion designer will be in Dubai for the official inauguration of the store at Dubai Festival City mall on September 20, 2016.  

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Cyprus visa application in Amman


Travellers from Jordan can apply for visas to Cyprus at the new Cyprus Visa Application Centre launched in the city of Amman. With Cyprus emerging as a preferred outbound destination, applicants will find this centre, located in the heart of the city, an easily accessible and convenient option. The newly launched centre is located at Galleria Mall, 4th Floor, Sweifieh Street, Amman, and joins 9 other client governments also served from the same premise. Services at the new Cyprus Visa Application Centre commenced from 04 September 2016. VFS Global has partnered with the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to handle visa processing services since 2010. The company now serves the client government through 18 Visa Application Centres globally in 5 countries. Commenting on the launch of the new centre, H.E. Ms Nafsika Krousti, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus in Amman, said, “It is indeed important that the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Amman is launching this visa application centre, in collaboration with VFS Global. I need to emphasize that the Cyprus Government highly cherishes its bilateral relations with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and wishes to provide the best possible facilities to Jordanian citizens applying for visas to travel to Cyprus, either for business, or pleasure. In this framework, I hope and trust that VFS Global in its visa processing procedures will rise to the challenge of providing the highest level of quality of service to the visa applicants, for the benefit of all”. The key features of the new centre are convenient and centrally-accessed location, longer operating hours allowing applicants to visit at a time of their convenience, professional staff with local language capability to …

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Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid unveils future international cities


Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has launched Jumeirah Central, an urban mixed-use city district expected to become a comprehensive model for future urban planning in Dubai and around the world. The all-season city district will comprise 9 million sq ft of retail space including three malls, 4.5 sqft of outdoor shopping space and supported by more than 44,000 car parking spaces. A unique tourism destination, Jumeriah Central will offer 7,200 hotel rooms; the largest number of hotel rooms centred in one district. The district will be home to 35,000 residents and will host 100,000 people annually. It will be connected by a comprehensive cycling network that spans over 33 parks and open spaces. Commenting on the announcement, H.H. Al Maktoum said: “As our vision for future cities evolves, Dubai will continue to set the benchmark for city development across the globe. Jumeriah Central is a clear milestone in our journey towards building the city of the future and the creation of engaged and happy communities. We will not stop investing in our economy, and these projects are tools to expedite that journey of growth. We are confident in the strength of our economy and are optimistic for the future of our nation. To that end, our vision will continuously evolve and expand.” The Jumeirah Central masterplan is a product of the collaborative work of over 19 government and private agencies, international experts and consultants under the leadership of Dubai Holding over the last two years. Jumeirah Central will have smart world-leading infrastructure that includes a multi-modal transport network, environmentally-friendly transport options and aerial gondolas. The district, …

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DTCM focuses on retail tourism

Dubai Logo

In order to further enhance Dubai’s position as a year-round tourism destination offering unique leisure, shopping and entertainment experiences, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) is organising the “Big Clearance Sale” from September 1-3, at Dubai World Trade Centre’s Za’abeel Halls 1, 2 and 3. Bringing together some of the biggest retail groups – Azadea Group, Apparel Group, M. H. Alshaya Co, Al Ghurair Retail and Landmark Group – under one roof, the “Big Clearance Sale” will give residents and visitors the opportunity to buy an array of designer products from their favourite international brands at unmatchable prices. Shoppers can expect over 80 per cent off on a host of merchandise, ranging from fashion apparel and accessories, to cosmetics, perfumes, shoes and much more. The three-day event features over 40 international brands, including  Zara Home, Salsa, Old Navy, Juicy Couture, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Debenhams, Topshop, H&M, Springfield and Steve Madden, to name a few. Saeed Mohammed Mesam Alfalasi, Executive Director, Retail and Strategic Alliances, DFRE, said: “Now a permanent fixture in Dubai’s retail calendar, The Big Clearance Sale has helped to further reinforce Dubai’s position as the leading shopping destination in the region.  This popular event provides the perfect environment for shoppers to snap up a bargain or two, while giving retailers an opportunity to hold a one-of-a-kind end-of-season sale prior to introducing their new collections. Following closely on the success of Dubai Summer Surprises, we believe The Big Spring Clearance Sale will help keep up the momentum in the retail sector. The Big Clearance Sale is a reflection of the energy and inspiration …

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Qatar signs deal with VFS for visa


In a move to step up efforts to attract and welcome more visitors to the destination, Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority have signed an agreement with VFS Global in the presence of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior. The agreement paves the way for an efficient and transparent tourist visa application system. The agreement will enable Qatar to identify and implement the ideal visa solutions for its visitors, while capitalising on VFS Global’s expertise in developing multi-platform visa services, and Qatar Airways’ extensive international footprint. Qatar Airways and QTA will be working with VFS Global and MOI over the next months to establish the new tourist visa application process, after which full details of the new system will be announced. The steps taken are expected to increase Qatar’s openness ranking on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways has been bringing tourists to Qatar for nearly two decades and today’s announcement marks another milestone in our commitment to making Doha a world-class tourist destination. Qatar’s tourism industry is experiencing exponential growth and the visa advancements announced today will further support our country’s vision to invite and welcome visitors from around the world to experience all that Qatar has to offer. We look forward to welcoming more passengers on-board, at Hamad International Airport and into Qatar, as a result of today’s initiative. “I would like to sincerely thank the Ministry of Interior’s General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs, and Qatar Tourism Authority for their partnership in making today’s announcement possible. This initiative is a great example of what we can accomplish by working together, and we have other initiatives …

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India Tourism unveils upcoming trade events

IV Rao - Deputy Director India Tourism Dubai

The tourism board of India, headed by I.R.V Rao, has revealed two important events planned to promote and strengthen ties between the UAE and India. The inaugural ITM or India Travel Mart will take place from February 1-4, 2017 in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi which is set to attract many visitors from different regions. It is a B2B travel trade event organised in conjunction with Confederation of Indian Industry and the Tourism Finance Corporation. Another event of importance is the Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit (IITIS) to be held from September 21-23, 2016, at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. IITIS 2016 will create a platform for the global investors to explore investment opportunities available within the ambit of India’s tourism sector as well as the core infrastructure, understand policy framework and investment ecosystem of the country and be informed on incentives offered by government on investments,  explore and understand the nature of the wide array of investible projects from the States that will be showcased, catalyze partnerships through of B2B and B2G linkages, and identifying joint Venture opportunities with Indian Companies. The three-day Summit will include Thematic Sessions, Exhibition and Business-2-Business (B2B) and Business -2- Government (B2G) meetings. More information will be provided on India Travel Mart in due course.

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TCEB unveils new strategy for MICE


The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled a Digital MICE strategy and online marketing plan highlighting the ‘Biz Thailand’ mobile application — an information gateway for MICE travellers. TCEB’s four key online marketing initiatives in 2016 include the enhancement of the innovative Thai MICE website at by providing comprehensive information on MICE products and services, available in eight languages, and the ‘Biz Thailand’ mobile application to seamlessly leverage the TCEB website user experience catering to target audiences across the globe; online marketing tools and digital sales kits including a blog, digital brochure, photo and video content, as well as infographics and digital sales kits. Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President, TCEB, said, “This year TCEB continues to promote the readiness of Thailand’s MICE industry through a comprehensive Digital MICE marketing strategy, utilising online channels to support the bureau’s key marketing activities while aligning both traditional and digital activities in the same strategic direction, consistent with the government’s Digital Economy policy – driving growth for the MICE industry, while serving as an effective economic growth driver.”

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‘Tourism Leadership Program’ by UAE and UNWTO

uae untwo-combined

The Ministry of Economy will hold its ‘Tourism Leadership Program’ from October 30 to November 3, 2016, in collaboration with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Themis Foundation. The programme falls under the framework of the Emirates Host initiative launched recently by the Ministry which aims to enhance the capabilities of the tourism sector and support the preparation of a strategic integrated five-year development plan. The plan will raise the efficiency of the UAE’s tourism workforce, improve service levels, and build local capacities. H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said: “The development of the tourism sector and the enhancement of its contributions to the national economy are among the main pillars supporting economic diversification and promoting policies for a post-oil economy.” The Minister also emphasized that the Ministry will continue to work on developing a national tourism strategy that covers plans, initiatives and programs at the federal and local levels over the next five years. The strategy will promote and market UAE as a Tourism destination by creating a unified destination identity and supporting and strengthening each emirate’s unique tourism potentials. For his part, H.E. Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy, added that the Ministry is coordinating with the UN World Tourism Organization and Themis Foundation, which is responsible for implementing training and education programs, to prepare an extensive tourism training plan during the coming period which will include many of the training programs and interactive workshops tailored for citizens working in the tourism sector. The Tourism Leadership Program is an intensive training course focused on strengthening the foundations of leadership and communication in tourism through theoretical and practical approaches.

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Ramada Ajman reinforces green initiatives

ramada 1

As part of its sustainability efforts, Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman has underlined its commitment to ‘Soap for Hope’ and ‘Your Can for Tree’ campaigns. Pioneered by Sealed Air, the hotel has been a part of the ‘Soap for Hope’ project for more than two years. While giving out boxes of used soap for recycling, Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman pledged to continue its participation not only to save the environment, but also to help less privileged communities supported by the project. The property also took part in the ‘Your Can for Tree’ initiative organised by Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), which aims to raise funds by collecting and selling used aluminium cans to fund tree-planting activities across the UAE.

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Ras Al Khaimah visitor numbers up by 7%


Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) has revealed that total visitor arrivals to the country between January and July 2016 has increased by seven percent, compared to the same period in 2015, with further indicators foretelling another successful year for the region’s fastest growing tourism destination. For the month of July 2016, the hotel occupancy for Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels grew by 36.7 percent over July 2015 demonstrating increased demand for the emirate. According to Ras Al Khaimah TDA figures, in addition to the emirate receiving more visitors, the length of stay during the first seven mWonths of this year also increased. Total guest nights grew by 15.2 percent year-on-year, while the average length of stay in the Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels climbed 7.7 percent. Ras Al Khaimah’s expanding hotel proposition experienced significant increases during the same period with hotel occupancy averaging 70 percent, marking a 15 percent growth on last year. RevPAR grew by 7.6 percent over the same period, with room revenue increasing by 10.6 percent. The key hotel performance indicators continue to show growth well above the GCC average. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: “With access to 64 kilometres of pristine beaches, a unique terracotta desert and the highest mountain in the UAE located just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport, Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels and resorts continue to grow from strength to strength. Our focus this year has been to heavily promote our new brand positioning which emphasises Ras Al Khaimah’s natural assets, luxurious indulgence, range of activities for different types of travellers, history and culture, and authentic Arabian heritage offering.” The domestic UAE market continues to represent Ras Al …

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